Wordless Wednesday – Scottish steam of my childhood

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A new look?

Don’t worry, this post won’t contain any fashion advice, i’m not capable of that – I’ll stick to my surf t-shirts and faded jeans regardless.

There may not appear to have been much progress on the layout of late and, whilst materially that’s true, I’ve been mulling over the baseboard designs and presentation of the layout for a while.

I drew up my initial thinking on presentation and baseboard design in ‘the book’ a while back. However since then I’ve been pondering whether there’s a more imaginative way to present the layout.

Here’s what my thinking was before this started:

Note the theatrical style with traditional curtain and proscenium arch. 

The design is very traditional, but has potential to be professional. I’ve assisted Richard Williams and Christopher Payne in exhibiting their minimum gauge layouts at a few shows and their approach to display has worn off. I think the theatrical nature of the proscenium arch and front operation is a great idea. A recent(ish) purchase of Iain Rice’s book ‘cameo layouts’ reinforced this.

The eagle-eyed will have spotted the numbering on the diagram above. I’ve been pondering how to have a baseboard design that has multiple uses for the component parts in both ‘transport’ and ‘display’ modes. The theory being a set number of components that help provide a rigid box (or close to) for transport, and a professional display that’s easy to assemble on arrival at the exhibition.

How the design is proposed to fit together should be fairly obvious from the top left-hand cross section. 
And here’s the proposal for ‘transport mode’.

It works in theory. However, having done this thinking I started to ponder what I could do to make my layout stand out a bit more at a show. To my mind the unusual element of the layout is the research and its basis in semi-reality. So displaying the layout on its own without the research de-values this. I’m therefore keen to find a way to display whatever miniature world I end up building, alongside some copies of the research materials from the proposed railway on the Isle of Skye.

To that end I have started to look at more modern museum exhibits and art installations which display dioramas, documents and artwork to the public. I’m still not 100% sure how I can do something more imaginative, but trying to integrate influences from outside of our hobby is something I really enjoy, so I’m going to pursue this a little further. Until I’ve worked my way through that I won’t know how to build the baseboards. 

A few things that have caught my eye thus far…

There’s something simple, clean and refreshing about white. The norm is black (or at least a dark) baseboard fascia – why not white? Image source: https://museumsvictoria.com.au/article/the-art-of-the-diorama/ 
Light boxes work well at showing elements of an overall scene or piece of work – like a station on a railway… Image source: http://blog.asianart.org/blog/index.php/2011/08/30/where-did-all-the-korean-art-go/
Rather than documents being stuck to the display boards, and ultimately ending up being tatty this sort of thing holds some appeal for a professional appearance. Image source: http://www.buyplasticsonline.co.uk

So, have you seen a particularly appealing museum display or other model which you thought mixed written and physical media in an engaging and original way?

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The Book

I admit it, I’ve got a stationery fetish. I probably like fountain pens, and a nice mechanical pencil more than you do…

Now I’ve gotten that off my chest I’ll get to the point.

For a while now I’ve been admiring the sort of fancy journalling skills folks have on Pinterest.  Much like this sort of thing. Screen Shot 2018-11-04 at 17.58.31

Yes, i’ve got a ‘stationery stuff’ Pinterest board 🙂

Anyway, I really like these journals as a bright, appealing and stimulating way of looking at a subject. And, as things develop, a pleasant way to reflect back on the progress and process gone through up to that point. So, rather than just collecting random sheets of paper with inevitable scribble on them which end up allover the place, I’ve decided to keep my ‘useful’ ideas relating to the Hebridean Light Railway all in one place in one of these Journals.


As the book was bought in an awesome shop selling local products in Sri Lanka it seemed fitting to pose my Kelani Valley K class perpetual-work-in-progress on top of it.

Here’s an example of the sort of thing that’s in there, some more sheets like this will appear on the blog from time to time to show my thinking behind things. I’ve a few ideas re baseboards that will appear soon.



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